Bassist Catherine Popper says hello

Catherine Popper

I would describe my bass style as a clown falling down the stairs with a giant wooden fishbowl full of bouncy balls. I do not play five- or six-string bass, because I started as an upright player, so I never had any interest in any more than four strings. I also use flatwound strings, which are a disaster on that low B. I have no idea what a high 5th string is even tuned to. Satan? I played a five-string live with Jack White, just on the song ‘Seven Nation Army’. I had to really finesse the low string to keep it from smacking the fingerboard. I’m not interested in slapping, but it’s awesome to see someone doing it well. My incredible bassist friend Keith Christopher used to tell me ‘always get your drummer laid’, which I take to mean ‘make your band sound good’. I enjoy staying in the moment from night to night and playing fills that complement other people onstage, but I fully believe that on my great nights I’m transparent onstage, musically. ‘Good’ playing is a subjective idea, but I try to be of service to either the lyrics or soloist at any given moment. My bass heroes? I have pages and pages of transcribed Ray Brown bass-lines. I used to think along with the transcription before I would play with it. Nerd! Also James Jamerson, Mike Watt, Aston Barrett, Paul Simonon and Tommy Stinson.
Basses Fender Precision, Guild Starfire I, Mirecourt French flatback upright
Effects Various
Amps Whatever’s around

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